Posts Tagged ‘Bret Hart’

WWE Hall of Famer Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart has hit out at the WWE locker room for not being able to tell a story in the ring.

In an interview with TalkSport whilst visiting the UK, the ‘Hitman said, “I think I was a better storyteller than any of the wrestlers they’ve got today. I watched WrestleMania this year and there’s no drama anymore. They do some amazing stuff, there are some incredible athletes, but people don’t know how to tell a story.”

Hart is considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and was with the company from 1984 until leaving for WCW in 1997 after the infamous ‘Montreal Screw Job.’

When asked about negative comments recently made towards him by former WCW Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff, Hart responded, “Eric Bischoff is a total complete idiot, maybe the single stupidest idiot that ever got into wrestling.

“He never came through on anything he said, he had zero ideas on wrestling, and if you went to him with ideas he’d always have some ridiculous reason he couldn’t do it.”

Hart would spend only three years in WCW until being forced to retire due to injury sustained in a match with Goldberg.

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On a recent episode of his 83 Weeks podcast, former WCW President Eric Bischoff discussed signing Bret Hart in 1997. You can listen to the full podcast by clicking here, below are some highlights:

Whether he wanted Bret Hart to come to WCW with the WWF Championship:

“There were probably two or three different conversations about that. The one conversation that I distinctly remember. I remember that I was in Wyoming. I remember it because my cell phone went off and I was in a cell area that was really sketchy, where I was around a post office in the middle of nowhere. I remember going inside the post office to use a pay phone, and I remember standing there thinking, why am I having this conversation again? It is not that important of a deal. I convinced Bret Hart one last time do not worry about the Championship belt. In my mind, I remember thinking this at the time, what I thought Bret Hart should do is given the fact that he is Bret Hart, and you know, Stu Hart and the Hart family legacy, the tradition of the business, what I wanted Bret to do is just pass the belt on. Do the right thing. Shake Vince McMahon’s hand. Leave on good terms. The business; the audience would have had more respect for him than to hold on to the belt because he didn’t want to lose in Montreal, Quebec Canada [Survivor Series 1997] because he is a Canadian. That, to me didn’t make any sense. Worrying about it didn’t make any sense to me because Bret Hart was coming to WCW. The fans were sophisticated enough to know that if he lost a match it wasn’t going to diminish who Bret Hart was. That logic from talent never made any sense to me. That is when you get sucked in to the work where you work yourself. I tried to explain that to Bret Hart. It just didn’t matter to me”.

Whether he consulted with WCW talent about Hart prior to him arriving:

“I talked to Hulk Hogan. I talked to Kevin Nash, Scott Hall. I talked with Ric Flair It would have been kind of standard operating procedure to have conversations to pick the brains of the top guys that he would have been working with. To make sure there was no chemistry issues, or landmines that I needed to be aware of. If there were I would have to deal with them prior to him coming on board not afterwards. I would have probably listened to a number of people suggest best possible ways to take advantage of Bret Hart, including Hulk Hogan. Hulk had a long history with Bret Hart, as did Ric Flair. They had a long history with Bret. They knew Bret Hart better than I did. I had never worked with Bret. Quite frankly, I never followed him much in WWF. He was never really my cup of tea. I appreciated and understood why fans loved him. I understood the qualities that he brought, but he wasn’t one of the guys where I watched him and thought to myself that I couldn’t wait to have that guy on the roster. I was interested in the perspectives of guys like Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, who did know Bret at a much different level than I could possibly know him.”

Why it took so long to have Bret Hart debut in WCW:

“Why wouldn’t I just drop everything and take in a guy who had a certain amount of time of a no-compete clause; had a broken hand, and just kind of drop everything and throw him in the middle of something without any real planning, backstory and throw it against the wall in hopes that it would stick? Is that the question? That is the kind of prevailing critique that I hear often; how can you take a guy like Bret Hart, which by the way, he wasn’t drawing, there is a reason why Vince McMahon let him go. It wasn’t because he was making Vince McMahon money hand over fist. One of the things that I liked—look at what we did with Sting and Hulk Hogan. I wanted long term plans. One of the reasons I thrust myself in creative, and I may have said this to you before, if I didn’t I apologize, but I was never comfortable with creative. I was comfortable with the business side of it. I understood the business side of the business pretty well. What I didn’t know I could pretty easily understand and figure out, but that creative side was the voodoo side that I never got close to. I never got close to the creative in AWA; not only was I not close to it, I wasn’t allowed to be in a room close to it when they were talking about creative. That is how tightly held Verne Gagne believed in kayfabing people who he didn’t believe needed to be in the process. I had zero exposure to creative in WCW up until 1993, 1994. Even then I was at a distance. I would talk to Dusty Rhodes because he and I were tight and we would talk a little bit, and would explain to me the ideas that he had and sucked up as much as I could. I was fascinated by it quite honestly, but I was still never comfortable being the guy in the room that said yay or nay on something. Ric Flair, when I brought him in as a booker, I was never in that room. I would come in and out. There were certain things that I had to be aware of as Executive Vice President, depending on the timeline was of the company and being responsible financially for things. I had to have an idea of where we were going, what the pay per views were going to look like, how the cards are being advertised six months before pay per views and all that kind of crap, but I didn’t sit in a room with a team filled with guys who had hundreds of years of more experience than I did and try to influence their creative decisions. I tried to stay out of that. It wasn’t until later on that I inserted myself in that process.”

Bret’s tenure in WCW being a failure:

“I think it all goes back to the very beginning. I think it is fair for Bret Hart and fans of Bret Hart to suggest that there was never really a long term plan with Bret. That is fair. Bret came in rather abruptly. We didn’t have a long time to really lay out in a thoughtful way where we can balance different options and really creatively do the best job that we can do. Even with the time that we had, we didn’t do a great job. I didn’t do a great job, so I think if you go back to the very beginning with all the things that were going on; with the pressures of WCW Thunder and some of the choices I was trying to make, and the pressures were we getting from WWE, and the pressure we were getting from our own company, and the fact that they were gutting our budget, all of those things were throwing us off of our game, and a lot of that had to do with the reason why, so we didn’t have a good plan, we just didn’t, and that is fair for Bret, and for fans of Bret, but I will also say that Bret Hart didn’t contribute. He didn’t try. Despite the ‘hero’s journey’ and the amazingly, Steven Spielberg-ish where he single handedly, against all odds created in Toronto, Canada so that his fans, the multitude of fans, who stood outside in the freezing cold as Bret Hart had to walk over the almost comatose body of the head booker only to prevail in the ring and to prove to all of the bookers and to everybody else that Bret Hart had the keys to the kingdom that night, but despite all of that, Bret Hart didn’t really contribute as much as Bret Hart could have contributed to Bret Hart’s own success. In his own legacy. Right now, Bret Hart’s legacy is a bitter, broken guy who wants to blame everybody from Vince McMahon to Eric Bischoff, to Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, to Dean Malenko for God’s sake for all of the things that went wrong in his career. Regardless of all the things I did wrong, that is on Bret Hart.”

In response to Bret’s comments about Eric Bischoff not creating talent:

“Yeah, I’m sure the next time you go to a Wrestlecon, or maybe even the ‘All In’ event. I am sure if you see Scott Hall and Kevin Nash signing autographs, I am sure Scott Hall is wearing a Razor Ramon gimmick. I am sure Kevin Nash is going as Diesel, right? Wrong! They are still more over today because of what I did for them. I made them bigger stars in WCW than they ever were in WWE. If you don’t believe me just go check it out next time you see them at autograph signings. They are still wearing their nWo s**t. By the way, our shirts are still selling over at WWEShop.com. Oh, by the way, Booker T, that guy in WCW, who is still associated with WWE, and Bill Goldberg, who was just inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, all of those guys who suffered at Eric Bischoff’s hands, whose careers just died in the wasteland at Eric Bischoff’s understanding of the Pro Wrestling business as Bret freaking Hart knows it. Those guys are still making money. I kind of say to Bret, just look around you Bret. Pull yourself out of the mushroom that you live under. Look for a little daylight, and look around you to see that you are kind of full of s**t. You really don’t know what you are talking about because you weren’t inside of Turner Broadcasting. You weren’t inside of the machine that was going on at the time where Ted Turner was literally pulling the carpet from underneath me and didn’t know it until I was asked to leave my own office. Bret Hart, you don’t really understand the business of the Pro Wrestling business, you only understand the Bret Hart business of the Pro Wrestling business, and they are two different things.”

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The venom between Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and Harry Smith seems to be over – thanks to the intervention of WWE Hall of Famer and all-round good lad Bret Hart.

Roberts had previously filed charges against Smith after an incident at WrestleCon during which the son of The British Bulldog made an almost literal mug out of ‘the Snake’, pouring coffee on him and his daughter. Smith was aggrieved at comments Roberts made with regards to his father on an earlier podcast.

The intervention of Smith’s uncle Bret Hart seems to have smoothed over the matter, and both parties are now understood to have made private apologies to one another. Smith went full-on ‘bigger man’ in issuing a public mea culpaahead of a tag-match in Kunamoto earlier on Sunday:

“I’d like to announce publicly and officially that I spoke with Jake Roberts on the phone today and we squashed heat we have for what happened at the WrestleCon event,” wrote Smith Jr. about squashing his beef with Roberts. “I apologized and said I would apologize publicly as Jake agreed he would be dropping any charges pressed against me.”

Bret Hart: master of diplomacy. There’s a reason it only took him eight years to make amends with WWE.

As previously noted, WWE Hall Of Famers Steve Austin and Bret Hart were recently guests on E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness. The pro wrestling legends discussed their exemplary WrrestleMania 13 submission match in great detail. Specifically, Austin and Hart talked about thinking the match would be a dud. Austin and Hart agreed that the match was easy to wrestle. Also, Austin rightly declared that the match stands up even today.

According to Austin, he was upset upon hearing that he would be facing Hart in a submission match at WrestleMania 13, not recognizing that an unfavorable match stipulation would put ‘Stone Cold’ in a position of sympathy with the audience.

“I’ll never forget before WrestleMania 13 happened, it was two weeks before the match, I believe,” Austin recalled. “I’m in San Antonio [Texas] watching Monday Night RAW, and, all-of-a-sudden, I see it announced that it’s going to be Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart versus ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin in a submission match and I was livid because I am not a submission-style wrestler. I got dropped on my head and I turned into a brawler. I was starting to become somewhat hot as a [babyface], but prided myself on being a heel. All-of-a-sudden, I’m going into this match with Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, which I loved that, but the submission part, totally threw me. And I voiced my concerns to Vince McMahon because I truly thought they were putting me in a compromising position because I’m not a submission wrestler. Everybody knows I hold had three or four moves and the rest were racking the eyes, ball shots, and stuff like that, so this match was not going to be catered to me.”

Austin admitted that he thought it was going to be a bad match.

“I thought we were going to stink the joint out, I truly did. And we did everything but that. We ripped it apart with a five-star performance.”

While Austin worried that the submission stipulation would not play to his strengths as a performer, Hart was concerned with the limiting nature of submission matches in general.

“I think we have to give Vince [McMahon] credit for the vision of the submission match.” Hart continued, “I was like Steve. I thought it was really going to be a bad, bad match for us to showcase our talents. If anything it should have just been a rematch period. A submission match limited us or at least I thought. And I felt the same way as Steve, but I also knew going in there that Vince started to want to turn me heel. And I could tell even going into that over the last few months. That’s when the fans started to take to the heels a lot more. I don’t know if it was ECW or what, but I remember the heels started to get over and they started to cheer Steve a lot because he was sort of a cool heel to take a liking to.”

Hart gained the negative perspective on submission matches from firsthand experience. Hart claimed that his ‘I Quit’ bout with fellow WWE Hall Of Famer Bob Backlund was not so excellently executed.

“Going into WrestleMania, I knew from my own experience with Bob Backlund, I think I had an ‘I Quit’ match with him at WrestleMania 11, which was probably my worst pay-per-view match I ever had, no offense to Bob.” Hart explained, “it wasn’t Bob’s fault either. Submission matches are a death sentence. You take out half of the fun of false finishes with pinfalls. I mean, that’s why more spots you can do. It cuts your match in half as far as what you can do.”

Hart went on to say that his WrestleMania 13 match with Austin was one of the easiest matches he has had in his pro wrestling career.

“It was one of the easiest matches I ever had in my life. There was just absolutely great work. Everything. And I always tell people, ‘this is the greatest match I had in the sense that no animals were harmed in the making of this movie.’ I mean, really, the only potato I gave myself was when Steve threw me into the hockey board. That hurt like hell.”

Austin agreed with Hart’s assessment that the match was easy to work.

“The match was so easy because you’ll see a call here or there, heads are down, you’ll never see any mouths move.” Austin added, “when Bret and I talked about this match, there were maybe five to seven things that we knew were going to happen. The rest was called on the fly in the ring and that’s a shoot.”

Additionally, during the interview, Austin stated that the submission match holds up today because of its realness and intensity.

“With all the flip, flop, and flying going on now, this match, although it was done at WrestleMania 13… all these years later, this match still holds up whether it was back then, right now, or in the future because of the physicality, because of the intensity,” Austin said. “There’s nothing crazy that goes on in this match, but because it’s so real, it will hold up to the test of time.”

Former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal was recently interviewed by The Independent to share his thoughts on who should be in the Hall of Fame. Without hesitation, Mahal’s pick was the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith.

“[British Bulldog] had a great, storied career. From tagging with The Dynamite Kid to breaking out on his own, his career had a great evolution,” said Mahal. “He started in Stampede Wrestling in Calgary for Stu Hart and before that had been training in England before being brought in with Dynamite, and of course that classic, classic match against Bret Hart at Summerslam – that’s one of my all-time favorite matches. He’s just a great, great superstar in the history of WWE, so I don’t think it is a matter of if he’ll be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but when he’ll become a member.”

Mahal had a rather somber moment in Smith’s home country of the United Kingdom. He was the first-ever WWE Champion to lose the title there, losing to AJ Styles shortly before the 2017 Survivor Series. In contrast, British Bulldog experienced perhaps the biggest moment of his career, as he was able to defeat Bret Hart at Wembley Stadium in London at SummerSlam ’92 to win the Intercontinental Championship.

Despite losing the title in Manchester, Mahal gave much respect to Styles for dethroning him.

“It was the very first time in the history of WWE that the title had changed hands overseas. History was made that night and the match was probably one of the best I’ve ever had,” said Mahal. “I’ve said this before, but I feel that although I lost, I really won that night. The energy in the arena that night was amazing and AJ Styles really is phenomenal – the fans just love him. I think he might be the number one, top star in WWE in terms of fan reaction because everybody loves him.

“Everyone that night was genuinely so happy for him, so it was a little bit bittersweet for me. I was lay on my back on the mat with my eyes closed, listening to the reaction of the crowd and a couple of tears fell in the ring, of happiness as everyone was so pleased for him. It was a very cool moment and it was a moment I’ll never forget.”

Currently, Mahal is without a spot on the upcoming WWE Fastlane event, although he has set his sights on taking the United States Championship from Bobby Roode. Mahal also shared how grateful he is to be in the position he is now compared to when he was released.

“We are so blessed to be WWE superstars and sometimes I think that’s taken for granted; what we do, many, many people around the world wish they could do,” said Mahal. “I was even released by WWE but, fortunately, I was given a second opportunity and, after that, I was never going to take anything for granted. Every day is a blessing and an opportunity and it is up to you to take advantage of that.”

Source: The Independent

WWE legend Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart has mounted a complete recovery from prostrate cancer, according to the man himself.

The Canadian revealed the news in an interview with BloomsMag.com.

First diagnosed in February 2016, Hart underwent surgery the following month, but was still being monitored until doctors could be sure he was completely cancer free. Now, the 59-year-old is “100% recovered,” crediting this to his doctors’ early detection of the disease.

Bret’s brother, Smith, succumbed the disease this July, with ‘The Hitman’ citing his failure to “catch it early” as a factor in his death. Smith’s condition was terminal at the time of diagnosis, and he was only given a year to live.

Bret used the brief interview to urge men to take care of themselves, stating: “you gotta go in and get a blood test. If you’re a man over 40, you need to go in. You don’t want to be like my brother, Smith, who’s a guy that didn’t worry about it and it’s too late now.” He added that “if you catch it early, you can live a pretty normal life,” adding that he is already back in the gym, and proclaiming himself “close to normal” again.

WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart has reportedly filed a $1-million lawsuit over a botched wrist surgery that has left him unable to use his right thumb and index finger. The Calgary Sun reports Hart underwent the surgery two years ago with Dr. Justin Yeung to deal with an injury he had endured since 1981.

 Six weeks after his surgery on Nov. 23, 2015, Hart visited Yeung to have three pins removed and this is when he first indicated that he lacked function in his right thumb and index finger. Yeung advised him to take a wait-and-see approach, but the problems persisted well into 2016.

“The defendants were negligent, breached the duties of care they owed to Mr. Hart and breached their agreement with (him),” the lawsuit alleges. It goes on to say Yeung and his surgery team left “a tourniquet on Mr. Hart’s right arm on too long, such that the circulation of the nerves and tendons to his right thumb and index finger were damaged by a prolonged insufficient supply of oxygen.”

Hart is seeking $1 million in general damage in addition to unspecified amounts for lost income and other losses.

“He is unable to participate in his previous recreational and social activities,” the lawsuit states about Hart’s current limitations. “He is unable to use his right hand to pick up and functionally use objects, including pens, pencils, eating utensils and tools.”

The defense has not yet filed a statement disputing the allegations. Calgary Sunreports that Hart underwent another surgery in Vancouver in October, but the outcome of that surgery is not yet known.